Tuesday, October 25, 2011

flip flop

 I'm glad this didn't actually happen!

The numbers glowed red on the bedside table.  I rose in panic and threw on my bathrobe.  I put on my glasses, the ones that were missing an arm because the two-year-old had jovially broken it off.  I ran to the bathroom, yelling, “Wake up!  Wake up, you kids!”

We managed to leave the house in record time, my son still wearing a urine-heavy sagging diaper under his striped pajamas.  As I hastily buckled the girl’s seatbelt, I got a whiff of bad breath when she protested about her unzipped uniform and bare feet.

“It’s okay,” I said.  “You have inside shoes at school.”

I drove, madly, my glasses incredibly crooked and my own breath tasting like a rotting corpse.

I ran across the school grounds in my fluffy blue bathrobe, glasses still askew, sporting a purple Dora backpack and flip flops.  I didn’t notice anyone, but only ran with intent of reaching the portable as soon as possible.  But, in such haste, one of the flip flops flew off, so I turned and aimed my foot just right to get that little plastic piece snug between my toes.  But wait!  I forgot my daughter in the car.

I threw the backpack at the building and ran towards the parking lot, but my bathrobe had come loose and gusts of wind blew it open.  Oh shit.  Oh shit.  Had I shaved my legs recently?  Yes, yes I had.

Screams and cries blasted into my burning red face when I opened the car door.  “Mommy!  You left without me!”

“No time to talk,” I said, closing my bathrobe and pulling her out.

I held her because she lacked shoes and I ran again, but her weight slowed me.  We grabbed the backpack and made it to her classroom.  The teacher looked at my disheveled hair and her eyes slid down to my bathrobe and then to my flip flopped feet.

“Hi,” I said, breathless.  “Bad morning.”


I pointed to pink shoes on the shelf.  “She doesn’t have socks today, but—"

“I’ll take care of it,” the teacher said.

With arms crossed and face flushed, I walked briskly back across the school grounds, while the few remaining parents grinned as if to say, “Glad it’s you and not me.”

I tried to slow my breathing at the steering wheel, then turned to look at the toddler boy.  “I wet,” he said, blue eyes blinking.

That afternoon was the phone call from the principal.  She said next time it would be better for me to be late than get charged for indecent exposure.
flickr Creative Commons: David Reber's Hammer Photography

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

sharing the fountain

the children lean over the fountain
their soft pink tongues protruding
        the smaller child can see the water
        and feel its cool spray
        but he's not tall enough to taste and fully drink
 eyelashes against skin
         body straining with stretch
                   he cries
all he needs is a boost
so he doesn't have to keep on trying